Herod was furious when he learned that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, because the wise men had told him the star first appeared to them about two years earlier. a17
Herod's brutal action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah:
"A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah -- weeping and mourning unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted -- for they are dead." b19
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and told him,
"Get up and take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead."
So Joseph returned immediately to Israel with Jesus and his mother.
But when he learned that the new ruler was Herod's son Archelaus, he was afraid. Then, in another dream, he was warned to go to Galilee.
So they went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah: "He will be called a Nazarene."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)